Dear Dhamma Friends,
I am not quite sure yet whether this will turn into a rant, a self-assessment or a question, but I have just spent 2 days in a higher management meeting devised to develop improved service orientation. Let me start by saying that overall I found this an interesting and - in terms of reflecting one's personal and corporate behaviour - fruitful exercise, as far as giving pointers for self-reflection in a working-environment is concerned.
However, it seems also in some ways bring out the worst in me. And I guess I am considering how to deal with this observation.
I am not sure what would be best to focus on, so I suppose I will start with my own reflections on this workshop setting. All very nice, very cozy and VERY appreciative - everyone was aiming to be kind, considerate and cooperative - i.e. not the usual alpha type environment you often actually encounter in the day-to-day management environment. Perhaps this is part of what sort of brushes me the wrong way about this exercise, and I am not quite sure why: After all, I have no doubt that all those good managers there were all genuinely trying their best to be kind, considerate and cooperative. So I would not accuse any of them of lying, faking it or being consciously deceptive.
And yet I found myself often in a mode to think "this bullshit is starting to make me SICK". I am not sure how to best explain it but it was sooo "psychologically balanced" and socially "goody-good" and seemingly straight from the Coaching and Emotional Intelligence 101 that I felt some serious rebellious impulses at some stages. I guess I managed well enough in all the group-works because the coaches' feedback were by and large pretty good for me (but even there I just smiled and said "thank you" instead of screaming into their faces saying "spare me the bullxxxx please!"). And this is really what I have been taking from the workshop, quite a few "practical" pointers on what to watch in my daily management operations.
But I also feel very out of place, like I am being too negative, cynical about what is essentially meant to be a helpful and constructive approach to make "us managers" more emphatic and service orientated and by this act as role models for our staff. And it is not the programme or the people, they have all been well-meaning and well-intended for sure - but listening to the talks and words, I could not help but feeling that this a lot of pretentious rubbish.
In itself, I guess I am quite surprised how strongly I seem to be feeling about this (so much for my meditation and trying to move beyond attachments and aversions, I guess
). But yes, overall, it appears to me that I have strong adverse feeling about all this (not so much the people, even though I certainly reacted to some of them with less than optimal equanamity, but rather regarding all this sociological-psychological drivel and coaching/self-help worship that seemed to permeate this whole exercise for me). And yet, when we had to provide feedback tracked against a number of questions, I could only - and truthfully - respond with very positive responses (I guess it depended on the way the feedback questions were phrased).
Has anyone gone through something like this and can provide some insight to me on what this means? I am currently shifting from thinking I am just totally wrong in either management or this corporate environment or just so totally unsuccessful in practising the Buddhist path that something so totally irrelevant positively derails my recent practices (and limited progress I felt I had been making in maintaining equanamity).
with confused but respectful greetings.